Archive for the ‘Soy Free’ category

Soy – A 30 Day Experiment – Week 4

September 30th, 2009

My month-long soy free journey is nearly at an end.  As I have stated in past posts, I have felt no change, in energy or weight loss, during this time.  So many pieces of research I have read before and during this trial has stated that there is a direct link with soy and the thyroid and a significant decrease in soy intake will result in heightened energy levels and potential weight loss.  I have read studies indicating consumption of soy in relation to memory loss and concentration issues.   All of those have not proven themselves during this test and so, from my standpoint, are bunk.  During this time not only have I given up the more wholesome soy in its unrefined form but I took out of my diet the processed soy you find in just about every snack food.

I have had visitors to the blog since I started this project who are vegan and allergic to soy.   To me that’s willpower.  Being allergic and unable to consume soy but then taking it one step further and deciding to be vegan for whatever reason, that takes willpower!

Eating out was limited for the past month.  Most items contain some soy additive and sometimes, even with known vegan stuff, you just don’t know if it has soy or not so it was better to abstain.  I did some deep checking into some places and found an item here or there.  One thing I managed to find out was soy free was the sweet & sour at Pei Wei.  I had assumed eating anything Asian would be out during this time and considered myself lucky on this one.  Sweet & Sour vegetables with rice fit nicely and I managed to get a plate piled with fresh veggies and a tasty sauce that hit the spot.  A trip to Atlanta left out most of our favorite eateries except for Eats.  You can’t find soy in the pesto or a big veggie plate and you can’t go wrong at Eats!

Pei Wei - Sweet & Sour Vegetables Soy Free

After this is over I’ll be going back to soy.  Of all the things I missed I think the soy milk in my coffee would be the first to come to mind.  As I said before I didn’t notice any changes during this time.  Maybe after the upcoming holidays I’ll do this again and have some bloodwork done before and after just to benefit those in doubt.  I’ve made it through one month, I can do it again.  Willpower!

One more day left!


Soy – A 30 Day Experiment – Week 3

September 24th, 2009

My third week of being soy-free has ended and I can nearly say that if I should be able to notice any changes related to the issues with consuming soy then those issues are myths.  I have no increase in energy and no change in weight.  I have noticed not one single change.  I have one more week to go and without noticing any changes I will be going back to my soy-eating ways.   I may cut down on the processed soy only for the desire to cut down on it.

The past week has been quite uneventful unless you consider the usual trip to the grocery store and looking at labels more intently than a cat looking at a bird.  I did pull off a Thai Green Curry dish that was easily soy-free but little else was out of the ordinary.  My garden is still overflowing with okra so I’ll be frying that up soon.

I’m still looking for that soy-free soy sauce replacement.  Any ideas?


Soy – A 30 Day Experiment – Week 2

September 14th, 2009

Week two of my soyless existence has passed.  Most notable in changes I have noticed is the fact there are none.  I have lost a couple of pounds but I attribute that to my eating less processed foods.  I am eating more fresh now and even eating out less so the lack of soy can’t take credit there.

It seems eating Asian it very hard to do on a soy free diet.  he one thing I have searched for is a soy-free soy sauce substitute.  It just doesn’t exist, at least it doesn’t exist anywhere near me.  I have stuck with sweet & sour sauce and Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili Sauce.  Both are sugary but have some of the flavor I’m looking for.  I did get treated to an apple pie over the past week as well as German Chocolate Cupcakes.  My wife is the greatest vegan baker and we are usually well stocked with vegan sweets and goodies in the house.  With apple season starting up, I hope for one of pies once a week!

Vegan German Chocolate Cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcakes

Vegan Apple Pie

Apple Pie

It may have been a good idea to have had blood work done prior to starting this event but since I only wanted to gauge my energy levels and weight fluctuations I didn’t think it would be needed.  I don’t have a fondness for needles, either.  If there were any changes in my body that aren’t as evident I’m sure blood work would have showed them.  Otherwise, no changes as of yet but there are two weeks to go.


Soy – A 30 Day Experiment – Days 3 – 7

September 8th, 2009

I am at the end of my first week of reading labels more extensively than I ever have as a vegan.  The soy industry has a firm grip on every aspect of our food supply, and nowhere is this more evident than in processed foods.  Soy protein isolate, soybean oil, soy lecithin – all components of just about every processed food you pick up.  Although some processed foods don’t contain soy, the fact is most do and the only way to truly avoid it is to eat whole foods.  Fresh vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts, which are indeed the best foods for your body, are also the only road to getting zero soy.  With that said, I have not been eating only whole foods.  I have found a processed food here or there without soy.  Our garden is still producing tomatoes, cucumbers and okra.  I picked a small amount of pinto beans last week.  These items typically give me a good lunch but I get lazy in the evenings, the time I really shouldn’t.

The milks I have been trying, which I have spouted about over the last two posts, have been narrowed down to hazelnut.  I have tried a few over the past week.  Almond: too much of a bite.  Rice: too watery.  Oat: grainy, gritty, liquid paper. Hemp: powdery, not as bad as oat.  Drinkable but far too expensive.  Hazelnut tastes light enough, doesn’t have a bad aftertaste and isn’t too expensive.  I spend the most time on the milk subject because I drink a lot of it.  I use it extensively in my coffee and in my cooking.

I have read many articles about soy interfering with thyroid activity.  I haven’t noticed a difference in my energy levels or any weight fluctuations since starting this plan but this is only the first week.  Those differences, should they come, would be expected later on, possibly near the end.


Soy – A 30 Day Experiment – Day 2

September 3rd, 2009

So far the soy free diet has not proven to be too tough.  If it has done one thing it has led me to a bit more variety in my eats.  For lunch I had my usual, a tomato sandwich but I had nothing to pu ton it as Vegenaise contains soy.  Looking around the refrigerator I found a bottle of garlic marinade from Williams-Sonoma.  I drizzled just a little over the tomatoes and it was one of the best tomato sandwiches I have had.

On a night when I would have had typical veggie burgers, last night I made rosemary roasted potatoes, macaroni & not-cheese and baked beans.  The baked beans gave me a slip as I typically fry soy crumbles to add a bit of texture to the beans but of course, that’s soy so I had to brainstorm for a bit until I realized I had bought Sunshine Burgers on my soy free grocery run.  I crumbled a burger and fried it with a diced onion to add to the beans and they turned out perfect.  I had a few ingredient substitutions to make in other places but everything turned out great.

The milk issue is still on the drawing board.  I have found that Pacific almond milk seems to be a bit less watery than Almond Breeze and has less of the afterbite I’m not fond of, it even foams a little better when I steam it for coffee.  I’m still planning on getting hazelnut milk when I run out of almond to see if I like it better.  I’m curious to see how the almond milk would taste in mashed potatoes where imparting an almond taste would be really bad.

I went through my stock of cooking supplies and noticed most contain soy.  I use a vegan Worcestershire sauce that contains soy, Vegenaise, as mentioned, contains soy, as do many of Asian cooking products and any sauces that I would make for an Asian dish.  I would like tofind some replacements for these, namely the Vegenaise and Worcestershire but I can easily do without these if I have to.  Besides, this is all about having to with out, right?